This is not a repost from Gang’s blog, just something I’ve been wanting to write about but couldn’t find the time to sit down to.
To recap the situation for those who may not know what happened, Tara Santelices was held-up on the eve of her birthday. Her bag, containing her laptop, was taken from her and she is still in a coma and confined at Medical City. Luckily her friend Joee Mejias witnessed the situation and–considering the accounts–is the reason Tara is still alive.
So again, considering the accounts (that’s one account at least), what bugs me is that there were other people on the jeep when it happened. And even if they may have been helpless to stop the man who shot Tara, they did not make it any easier on Joee to get her medical attention as soon as possible. In other countries there’s a law ensuring that no witness should stand idly by in a crisis such as this one; allowing something like this to happen is just as good as being an accomplice.
It’s this particular brand of blind tolerance that fosters these kinds of situations, wherein people can allow a young girl to bleed from the head before their very eyes, and still have the gall to step out of the way instead of helping; because you know, having to help out is inconvenient and you have less to lose by minding your own business. That it was ‘her fault’ is a non-issue as well; no one deserves to get hurt for defending something that’s important to them, regardless of what that something may be.
What pisses me off is this mentality that it’s okay to be a bystander as long as you’re privileged with some semblance of normalcy and peace; that’s it’s okay for others to get hurt as long as you get to where you’re headed safe and sound; that suffering is fine as long as it’s not happening to you or anyone you know.
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One of the essays I came across while doing research for my thesis was about the “utopia of an odorless city,” which relates the events that led up to the building of sewage systems so people would quit emptying their shit pots out the window, as well as the moving of public cemeteries out of cities because the stench of the dead was killing people–literally, the miasma that would escape from people rotting in their graves was making people sick and at its worst, killing them.
There’s a point here; our senses are the most basic tools for grasping our physical and social environment. Thus, if it smells like shit, and it looks like shit, then it is shit; if it smells like a rotting corpse and looks like a rotting corpse than it is a rotting corpse. Neither of the two have a place in a clean and secure environment, and it is only right and for the good of all involved that what is explicitly harmful be removed. But it takes a certain amount of time before the senses cave and the smell of shit becomes intolerable enough for removal to commence.
It took cities such as London and Paris several centuries to clean the shit off their streets and move the dead out of the cities. However, it was all done by the turn of the century. A century later, and where the hell are we?